Take a poll
Ask your guests about the games they'd like to play when you invite them. For example, you might include the following in an email:
What kind of game do you want to play?
a) Texas Hold 'Em
b) Classic board game
c) Video game
Online invitation sites such as evite and punchbowl give you the option to poll guests, organize RSVPs and list games or food to bring to game night.
Make it a potluck
Ask each player to bring her favorite game as well as a favorite dish or snack to share.
Staging a game night with kids may mean spending more time stopping arguments about what game to play than playing one! Instead, before game time, have everyone write down his fave game on a small piece of paper. Fold each one, put it in a baseball cap or bowl, and have the host choose one. Repeat as needed, or start with unchosen games first the next time you stage a game night.
You don't need an actual stage -- or acting skills -- to play improvisation games during game night. No tables, chairs, cards or dice are needed, either -- just you and your guests. Try this classic improv game, Zip Zap Zop:
- Guests stand in a circle.
- Choose someone to start. He says "Zip" while clapping or pointing toward someone else in the group.
- The person he chooses says "Zap" while clapping or pointing to someone else. This can be the person who "zipped" her if she wants.
- The person "Zapped" says "Zop" and so on until someone says the wrong word or misses a beat; then, she's out. Eventually, only two people will be left -- and only one will be the Zip Zap Zop champ!
Mad lib night
Mad Libs are a fun choice for game nighters of all ages -- perfect, too, if you're short on space. All you need is a book of Mad Libs and a pencil.
If you have enough space in your home to set up some tables, stage different games at each one. For instance, set up one table for the young guests to play classic games like Candy Land or Chutes and Ladders; another table for parents to play blackjack or poker; and a third table for a strategy game such as chess.
The possibilities are endless. Have fun staging your own game night!
What is your favorite board game?
Share with us in the comments section below!
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